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How do you muck out your shavings bed?

(31 Posts)
Paddlinglikehell Fri 11-Jan-13 23:36:24

This morning I was mucking out ddpony, who is on shavings and I wondered if I was actually doing it the easiest or best way, so thought I would ask the more experienced tack room members.

Currently, I don rubber gloves and pick up the large poos, then go over the top with a shavings fork, before turning over (right down to the rubber mat underneath, removing the wet bits and clumps, before tidying up and doing some banks.

I put new sawdust in (a large block), once a wek and take everything back to the sides, sweep out an allow to air, once a week.

It takes me, around half an hour ro do a fairly large box, hay and water.

Does this sound the easiest way or is there a better/ quicker one.

Many thanks

Callisto Sat 12-Jan-13 09:45:52

Pick out the big poos with a shavings fork, chuck everything dry up the walls so the little poos roll back down, pick out the wet, sweep out, pull walls back down (leaving them at a fair size), more bedding if needed. Takes me around 5-10 mins.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sat 12-Jan-13 16:24:17

We use Hemcore or EasyBed. It's heavier, less easy for the horse to stir up and more absorbent than shavings. Go in daily and remove all poos with good gloves and a bucket. The wet will pool together and sink to the bottom. Weekly, move back the dry bed and remove the wet. Taking the wet out daily is really wasteful! I'd never go back to shaving. And I would never use a shavings fork. They are a total waste of time and effort!

willyoulistentome Sat 12-Jan-13 16:34:07

Like Callisto, That's how I did it. My girl always wees in the same place so I know where it will be wet. Big 'tidy' poos first with a shavings fork. Any more gig lumps of poo withshavngs forl next. Chuck clean looking bits up onto banks , little bit sof poo roll down and you can pick them up with the shavings fork easily. Work whole bed like this until ony wet bits left. Take these out, then pull bed down. Fork banks bank up, run fork round the top to level, and level middle off. Leave all up to dry floor once a week while horse out. Add at least one bale of shavings per week, mixing into one bank at a time, so banks don't get rancid. Sometimes two bales per week, if level getting low.

15 mins tops on a dirty day.

I just LOVE new shavings in a bed. Looks delicious somehow.

horseylady Sat 12-Jan-13 17:28:44

I try to figure out whats clean and dirty, remove that and put the banks back down. Now she's mainly pooing away from her bed the figuring out is easier!!

When my pony was at home then just like Castillo!

I put clean bedding down when needed

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:59:56

are shavings preferable to straw? just wondering what the options are really - i have started helping out at the yard im learning to ride at because i want my own pony, is bedding just down to cost and preference? (and health issues)?

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 12-Jan-13 23:06:44

Big poos picked up with fork, then throw clean bedding up into bankings. I don't take out all the wet every day as my mare wees for Britain - I tend to leave her with a 'day' bed of thin shavings as she turned out for a few hours during the day, then I pick out the poos again at night and pull down some of the bankings to make a nice night bed.

Getting through two bags of shavings a week at the moment. Grrr

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sat 12-Jan-13 23:11:45

Vicar, if you have a pony, there's a chance it will be a greedy bugger and eat its straw bed. A non palateable bedding saves on worries about them being fat gits or getting colic.
I can't believe how many people use shavings forks and do the throwing it up the banks malarkey! Such a waste of effort!

miggy Sat 12-Jan-13 23:16:58

I swopped to wood pellets a few years ago, they don't
Look anything like as nice as shavings but we have rubber mats underneath. Can muck out in ten minutes flat, fab. Much cheaper too.
Have ds's little shetties on straw as they roll about so much they get too much dust in their coats, takes me as long to muck them out as it does three normal size ones on pellets.

Paddlinglikehell Sun 13-Jan-13 00:54:58

Thanks for the replies, looks like I am not far off what others do.

I have only just bought a shavings fork, but must say I prefer gloves and a normal fork to be honest. Maybe I should sweep out more than once a week, although she usually weeks in the same places.

Vicarinatutu - I find shavings much easier than straw, I do a friends horse in the next box sometimes, her horse is on straw and it is fiddly, although I am quick doing it as I am more used to it.

I agree there is nothing like a lovely shavings bed, sides patted with the fork on top of the banks, I even make a pattern on the top of the whole bed! Sad!

countingto10 Sun 13-Jan-13 08:16:47

Rubber gloves to pick out the poos and a garden rack to rack the bed - mare pees in one place so rack away top to get to wet and shovel out. Do not rack clean up the banks, don't like to disturb the bed too much so she can't churn it up. Can't get on with a shavings fork.....

I'm on full livery so shouldn't really muck out but am quite anal about my bed hmm

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 13-Jan-13 12:27:20

Paddling, you need to try Hemcore. Its really soft and springy, and when its fresh and you move it, it makes a faint tinkly sound. confused Its even more lush than shavings!

Loshad Sun 13-Jan-13 20:06:26

only have dpony on shavings, as dmare has a screw loose and thinks shavings are tastier than meals or hay hmm
rubber mats, lot of shavings on top. Poos out daily, with a shavings type fork (ancient 20 years = old) and any obvious wet patches, sweep tidy.
Big muck out once a week going through whole bed.
Takes about 5 mins daily, 15 mins at weekend, bed always looks great.

Paddlinglikehell Sun 13-Jan-13 20:33:43

Going to check out Hemcore, but sounds expensive!

I did a 'big' clean today and it wasn't too bad at all. I just need to speed up! Ddpony was sooooo glad to be in early, nothing like happy pony and extra springy clean bed.

Loshad - eating shavings! Very strange pony!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:39:33

so how long does it take those of you who use straw.....

the yard i volunteer at most are on straw (some on shavings) - seems to take me ages to muck out straw but putting it down to inexperience! prob takes me 20 mins to do it plus scrub and refill water buckets.

i throw the clean and salvagable into banks, take out poos and wet with use of both a fork and a brush and shovel, then pull banks down a bit, add in a bit more straw and level off....

is shavings easier? ive not mucked out a pony on shavings yet. hope im doing this asked to stay again to today to help so think i must be....

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 13-Jan-13 20:40:02

Hemcore isn't overly expensive, middle range maybe, and Mole Valley Farmers do their own brand. If you deep litter, poo daily, wet weekly or even 2 weekly it's economical. Half a bale a week maybe. You need to not disturb it though and let the wet wick into one puddle. It rots down really nicely too.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:52:04

interesting....just read up on hemcore.

DreamySleepyNightySnoozySnooze Sun 13-Jan-13 21:00:53

I much prefer a straw bed (if your horse doesn't eat it), as I find it easier to separate the clean bedding from the wet bedding and the poo. I can thoroughly muck out a straw bed much quicker than a shavings bed., but I find shaving beds are easier to deep litter (skip out daily and fully muck out once a week). I certainly never use a shaving fork, I find them totally useless!

Loshad Sun 13-Jan-13 21:10:13

i have mad mare on chopped dust extracted straw (on top of rubber mats) and find that very easy to handle compared to normal straw, more absorbant and less smelly.
Paddling, yes she has a few quirks but i have her at home so easy to accommodate them and she makes up for it by being an excellent really reliable jumper.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 13-Jan-13 21:10:46

All bar one of ours are on Hemp. We have limited space for muck, we bag it and deliver it to a local allotment when the pile of bags gets too high. Straw muck takes up way too much room. The muck goes in the bags, the dug out damp patches go in the field gateways and in the old manège. (ours is very basic, used to be bark chips, now mainly bog/compost!)

Loshad Sun 13-Jan-13 21:11:08

She doesn't eat the straw beds btw

Loshad Sun 13-Jan-13 21:15:56

catpuss, and anyone else
can i ask you about basic menages.
I only have dmare (dpony is companion only), i need an arena of sorts, for use for 3-4 hours per week by 1 horse.
Has anyone made a really basic arena?
am thinking hard core, well rolled then woodchips on top as cheapest option.
This years wet weather has finally confirmed for me that using a part of a field is no longer a sensible option.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 13-Jan-13 21:30:02

Well our elderly yard owner made ours. He picked the wettest corner of the field and fenced off a 20m square. He put down a tarp, a layer of hardcore and sand clay that he dug out of his rubbish pit and topped it with chippings. It is bloody diabolical!
It floods every winter, the chippings have turned to a peat bog and it stinks!
I'd definitely recommend a high spot. And you really need planning permission for anything bigger than 20x20 (classed as a lunging circle). Adequate to ride in as long as you don't mind going in circles! confused

ponydilemma Mon 14-Jan-13 12:14:13

I use rapport which is fab and smells nice but too £££ so I've just switched to miscanthus. I go in with gloves and a bucket, rake it over and pick out any obvious lumps of wet. If it all looks relatively clean and dry I leave it and just chuck more on top every now and again. The good thing about rapport is that the clumps of wet are very noticeable, having said that they only seem to poo in there confused strange ponies.

ponydilemma Mon 14-Jan-13 12:16:35

catpuss talk me through your muck in bags system. we have a horrible old muck heap right next to the field shelter which I want to get rid of. Where do you get your bags, do you put the muck directly into the bags?

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